Finning Teams with Integrated Sustainability on Mining Reclamation Project

30 August 2022

At Finning, our team of industry, equipment, and technology experts is working with Integrated Sustainability, leaders in environmental construction, to provide data-driven intelligence on how to improve the operational efficiency and environmental sustainability of their equipment fleet.

With an increased focus on environmental compliance, fiscal responsibility, and public safety, many heavy construction and mining enterprises across Canada have made the transition to environmentally sustainable, responsible, and efficient business operations. By putting more emphasis on how they manage, monitor, and maintain their equipment fleet, heavy industries have learned that they’re able to reduce carbon emissions while improving their overall operational efficiency.

At Finning, we recently teamed with Integrated Sustainability on a Canadian mining reclamation project to provide turnkey fleet management services, to help them achieve their environmental sustainability and operational performance goals:

Watch: Sustainability Through Fleet Services

Featured Project: HB Mines Tailings Facility Remediation and Closure

The HB Dam, located 10 km south of Salmo, BC, was initially constructed in 1955 to retain and store tailings from the nearby HB Mine, where it was in operation until 1978, and decommissioned in 2005. After the earth dam of the tailings pond endured heavy rainfall in 2012, the HB Mines Tailings Facility became an environmental focus of the Regional District of Central Kootenay. In 2016 it was approved for its passive closure, which includes stabilization of the dam and remediation of the tailings area.

In 2021, the contract for construction was awarded to Integrated Sustainability Consultants Ltd., based on their ability to meet all environmental regulations required in the scope, within the projected budget. Construction activities include:

  • Developing a new spillway and eliminating the pond behind the dam.
  • Covering the entire tailings area with 0.3-metre thick earthen cover.
  • Creating lined surface water conveyance channels to direct water over the tailings area.
  • Constructing a till beach upstream of the dam, and raising the dam’s filter layer.
  • Expanding the toe berm at the bottom of the dam to improve seismic stability.

When complete, the reclaimed site will be restored to its productive end land use.

Identifying the Equipment and Technology Needed Early in the Pre-Construction Phase

With a strong working relationship already in place, Integrated Sustainability reached out to Finning early in the bidding stage to help them manage, monitor, maintain, and scale their fleet management services. Our team of industry, equipment, and technology experts helped to procure an appropriate mix of heavy machinery, each equipped with the latest in telematics, sensor, and other machine-monitoring technology, to meet all safety, operational, financial, and environmental sustainability goals.

This turnkey fleet management service ensures Integrated Sustainability is able to focus on executing their primary construction activities, while Finning provides access to a full range of modern Cat® equipment available to lease or rent (through The Cat Rental Store and Finning Heavy Equipment Rentals), on-site service and support (including 4Refuel, a Finning mobile, on-site refuelling program), and a team of experts that understand how to collect, track, and analyze data, to improve the performance and environmental sustainability of how the equipment is utilized on-site.

Reclamation work being done at the HB Mine site

Using Innovative Machine-Monitoring Technology to Improve Equipment Visibility in Real-Time

With the scale of the project site spanning well over a kilometre in length in a remote location, Integrated Sustainability, working with Finning, incorporated a wide range of positioning technologies including GPS, laser, and wireless communications to gain complete visibility across the project site in real-time.

This included setting up a SITECH® network to cover the entire project site, deploying geospatial drones to map out and survey the area, and connecting their modern fleet of Cat equipment’s built-in Trimble® GPS infrastructure to provide accurate and immediate insight into how their machines were being utilized on-site. With all the equipment data available in a centralized, cloud-based dashboard that can be quickly and easily accessed off-site, this allows Integrated Sustainability to make informed decisions about how to manage their fleet in the field.

Analyzing Data into Operational Intelligence and Recommending Action-Driven Solutions

Once the equipment, technology, and software had been implemented across the project site, we began collecting and tracking various inputs within Integrated Sustainability’s personalized database. This includes calculating and summarizing carbon emissions, fuel consumption, and asset utilization, based on productive working hours vs. non-productive idling hours.

Based on this information we consolidate, we’re able to help Integrated Sustainability identify which equipment operators are idling their machines longer than what is necessary, isolating which machines are consuming fuel at a higher rate than the industry standard, or uncovering whether there are any unproductive bottlenecks across their fleet’s operation. This empowers Integrated Sustainability to make informed and proactive decisions, providing insight into whether they need to make adjustments to their haul plan, their servicing intervals, or their materials management.

Remaining Accountable to Sustainability Goals with the Flexibility to Scale as Project Scope Increases in Complexity

As a company committed to customer service, Finning will continue to work alongside Integrated Sustainability throughout the life of the project, relentlessly finding new ways to collect and track accurate data, analyzing and consolidating it into intelligence, and recommending informed and action-driven decisions that will improve the reclamation project’s performance and sustainability goals.

With the flexibility to scale the amount or size of equipment in Integrated Sustainability’s fleet, or the range or depth of data that is being collected, Finning is able to adapt our end-to-end fleet management service as construction activities and processes evolve.

Access road to HB Mine reclamation site

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Finning is the world's largest Caterpillar dealer, selling, renting and providing parts and service for equipment and engines to customers across diverse industries, including mining, construction, petroleum, forestry and a wide range of power systems applications. We operate in Western Canada, South America, and UK and Ireland.